Friday, November 30, 2012

Enjoyment, Fulfillment and Accomplishment at the Semi Annual Convention 2012

One of the most awaited events of the year has arrived – The Semi Annual Convention 2012. It was not only a distinguished and grand occasion for all Toastmasters members under District 51; it was also the time where champions from 11 divisions came together to compete for the Best Humorous Speaker and Best Evaluator titles in District 51. 

This year, Friendship Toastmasters Club is extremely privileged to have Timothy Nakayama to represent us to compete for both Humorous Speech and Evaluation Contest in the District 51 Semi Annual Convention on 17th November 2012. He was also honorably represented Division W, as well as, Area W3

Timothy came from a long way; he joined Friendship Toastmasters Club in January this year. Since joining the club, Timothy actively, enthusiastically and vigorously delivered his project speeches and evaluations in every meeting, as well as in other Toastmasters club meetings. Within the few months, he achieved the title as Advance Communicator Silver

Timothy’s long battle in the Humorous Speech and Evaluation contest began since our club contest on August 7th 2012. After winning as club’s best humorous speaker and evaluator, he moved on to Area W3 contest on September 7thHe continued to conquer both titles all the way to Division W contest on September 29th. Finally, he was there to compete against 11 district-finalists at the Semi Annual Convention. During the period of competitions and preparation, many of us had witnessed how he worked his fingers to the bone- all the effort, discipline and determination to leverage himself contest after contest

As the day came, Timothy was all prepared and ready. Both Humorous Speech and Evaluation contests were furious and challenging as all contestants were outstanding and elite. Timothy resiliently competed with focus, perseverance and believes. Finally, he won the 1st Runner-Up in the District 51 Humorous Speech Contest. Heartiest Congratulations to Timothy! He made a triumphant breakthrough for being the first Friendship member winning in a District Humorous Speech Contest. 

Timothy Nakayama receiving the 1st Runner-Up for Humorous Speech trophy from D51 Lieutenant Governor Education and Training, DTM Kiang Faang Pyng

Support, glory and pride. Friendship members who came along at the Semi Annual Convention to give power-whoosh to Timothy, including (from left to right) President Alexandra, VPM Sylvia Tan, VPE Daphne Au, Geok Ean, Immediate past President Angeline Lee and Sivadas (busy at the back)

Another marvelous thing that happened during the Semi Annual Convention was receiving the President’s Distinguished Club Award. Every year, Friendship Club strives to maintain its standard, values and integrity by serving its best for members and last term was no exception, under the leadership of our iron lady, Immediate Past President Angeline Lee. Let us thank and congratulate Angeline on her dedication, diligent leadership and hard work throughout the whole term 2011-2012.

Immediate Past President Angeline Lee receiving the President’s Distinguished Club Award from Immediate Past District Governor, Sue Chan

In conjunction to that, Friendship Club had also received Beat the Clock Award from Toastmasters International. We received the award for successfully added FIVE new members from May 1st to June 30th 2012. Kudos to Friendship! 

This journey and the event had taught all us much valuable lessons –passion, hard work, hope, believe, overcoming adversity, unity and of course, friendship! These were the few sweetest things that had happened in this term, and the best is yet to come!

Yours faithfully,
Alexandra Lau  

Thursday, November 29, 2012

November 6, 2012: Wisdom of the Ages

VPPR Ian Tai

Once again, we had a fantastic meeting with Daphne Au as our Toastmasters of the Evening. We had a whopping amount of eight guests; three guests came from Infinitus, a company that specializes in Chinese herbs, Victor Ong (from Taman Indrahana Toastmasters Club), Chong How Yee (from Money and You Toastmasters Club), Zahir Ahmad (from Taylor’s University Toastmasters Club), E Son Lee (from MAICSA Toastmasters Club) and Wei Chin (from UM Toastmasters Club).  
Our Table Topic Master, VPM Sylvia Tan, as usual with her passionate and out-of-the-box persona, assigned us topics on the items that were randomly selected from a box. Unfortunately, I was dumbfounded after selected an unusual item. I reminded myself to keep the positive spirit and be ever ready for Table Topics in future meetings. It was a sporting attempt by all table topic speakers, notably, Ben Chan who boldly put on the Minnie Mouse headband while giving his table topic speech.

Timothy delivered his Table Topic Speech

It was an enlightening evening with four entertaining project speakers. First, Ben Chan took the spotlight and introduced himself with his icebreaker speech. We get to know that he has a lot of passion and interest in medical line. Our next speaker, Susan Lim demonstrated how one can instantly change his state of mind by breaking his pattern. Past President Ben Fong entertained us with his thrilling experiences of diving, as well as up, close and personal encounters with beautiful yet dangerous sea creatures. Finally, Lien Chai hit center stage with an exciting personal sharing of being an “elitist”. 

Clockwise from top left: Ben Chan, Susan Lim, Lien Chai and Past President Ben Fong

Chong How Yee diligently delivered her Table Topic Evaluation. Similarly, Past President Lay Theng, Timothy, Victor Ong had also delivered equally constructive and positive evaluations. 

Table Topic Evaluator Chong How Yee
We had a few guests as role players, particularly Wei Chin as the Grammarian and Zahir Ahmad, the current President of Taylor’s University Toastmasters Club, as the Ah-Counter. Our lovely Geok Ean was the Timer of the evening. Finally, the meeting was beautifully summarized by our General Evaluator, E Son Lee

Zahir gave his Ah-Counter report

It was certainly an enjoyable meeting with positive attendance, excellent speech deliveries and No-Hold-Back evaluations and feedback for the overall conduct of the meeting. There were few awards presented during the closing address. The outstanding performers and achievers are:

Best Table Topic Speaker: Timothy Nakayama
Best Project Speaker: Susan Lim
Best Evaluator: Victor Ong

The Ice Breaker Ribbon: Ben Chan

Half Competent Communicator Ribbon: Oh Lien Chai and Susan Lim

Competent Communicator Pin: Ian Tai 

Congratulations to all high achievers! 

Token of appreciation to General Evaluator, Son Lee

Ian Tai
Vice President Public Relations

Friendship in Live Great Run 2012

From left: Ian Tai, Geok Ean and Nancy Soo

In the spirit of Friendship, few of us from Friendship Club had taken up the challenge to participate in the Live Great Run 2012, organized by Great Eastern on 4th November 2012. Our healthy and mighty members - Nancy Soo, Geok Ean, and yours truly courageously signed up and fully participated in the 12km marathon. Our journey started and finished at Menara MATRADE, Kuala Lumpur.

The weather was sunny, and we were running in beautiful parks. All of us finished the race without much panting and exhaustion. In the end of the marathon, each of the participants received a striking medal for finishing the race. We also met up with a fellow toastmaster, our District 51’s Secretary Teoh Chun Meng during the marathon, who had as much fun as we did.

All in all, it was a wonderful and memorable experience. We wish more Friendship members, other Toastmasters members and friends are able to come together and join such marathon in the future.

Yours sincerely,
Ian Tai
Vice President Public Relation

Friday, November 2, 2012

October 13, 2012: Food, Fun & Fellowship in Malacca

Ian Tai

Finally, it has arrived!

The much awaited club outing for Friendship Club finally happened on 13th October 2012. The program started off with a gathering at the parking in Bukit Kiara Equestrian & Country Resort. There were few members who are not morning persons, some overslept. Despite of the challenge, the late comers finally arrived, and  they accepted their punishment gracefully (which in turn, to treat us for dinner). Participants were grouped into three cars respectively. 

It took 2-hours’ drive to the Simple Bee Farm in Machap Baru, Melaka. Our drivers had  a challenging time locating the farm as signboards and banners were nowhere to be seen. Upon arrival, we rested and had lunch. The lunch was simply finger lickin' good.  We finished all the food served and even asked  for more. 

Friendship members in the Bee Farm with all the bee products
After lunch, an assistant led us to the bee farm, orang asli settlement and mini zoo. We had a mixture of feeling about the place. There were bee yards, but not much of bees to be seen, there were Orang Asli’s huts and settlements, but there were no Orang Asli. What  we saw in the mini zoo are chickens, ducks, gooses, turkeys, goats and a monkey. We thought it was more like a poultry farm instead of a mini zoo. 
Few of Friendship members climbed up the huts for better view of the farm
However, we were able to learn and see how bee produces raw honey, propolis, pollen and royal jelly; up close and personal. We had also learned that bee’s products bring a lot of benefit to our health, including cure for cough and sore throat, boost energy and stamina, enhance mood, reduce stress, balance and regulate hormones, suppress cravings and an unhealthy appetite, moderate body weight, cell regeneration and many other. 
Our Area Governor Chee Hoe was having his face spa with royal jelly

After the visit to Bee Farm, the following itinerary became increasingly exciting as we paraded into the Malacca city center for food, fun and laughter.  We determined to try out all the famous local delicacies including Malaccan Cendol, Laksa, “Special” Satay and many other local specialty products. 

Mouth-Watering Durian puffs
Group photo at the entrance of Jonker Street
We hiked up to St Paul’s Cathedral, conquered Fort A’ Famosa, passed through Dutch architecture, Stadhuys Buildings and took many fun photos along the way. Before we leave the city, we had scrumptiously Nyonya cooking for dinner. 

"Friendship-Malacca-Style" with Fort A' Famosa
All in all, it was a fantastic day where I believe each and every one was extremely satisfied, rejuvenated, and built  stronger bond amongst Friendship Club members. We look forward to organize another outdoor trip like this in the near future. Penang, perhaps?

Ian Tai
Vice President Public Relations

Monday, October 8, 2012

October 2, 2012: Why Me, Why This, Why Now?

Ian Tai

Distinguished members of Friendship and guests, 

We are still embracing the joy of victory of Timothy Nakayama winning both the humorous speech and evaluation contest in Division W just three days ago. The vibrant atmosphere was further enhanced by the amazing presence of Grace Tan, Victor Ong, guests from UniRazak Toastmasters Club and the dazzling Susan Lim, who has been away for quite some time. Susan gracefully took the role as our Toastmaster of the Evening. Susan did a wonderful job, as many acknowledged that she put in a great effort and to lift the energy high throughout the meeting.

Our dazzling Toastmaster of the Evening, Susan Lim
The first event was led by Area Governor W3 Chor Chee Hoe, who conducted the induction ceremony of two new members, Andrew Low and Ben Chan. Welcome to the Friendship family, Andrew and Ben!
Following after the induction, Chee Hoe smoothly transit us to the Table Topics Session. It has been a while since I last participated in a Table Topics and gladly, I did my routine Table Topic Speech with another three brave contestants – past President Ben Fong, UniRazak Toastmaster member Amir, and guest, Rohaizad. 

Amir, from UniRazak Toastmasters Club participated in Table Topics
Our guest Rohaizad, delivered his first attempt in Table Topics

We have four project speakers for the evening. First, it was Nancy Soo with a highly anticipated performance as I sat expecting an entertaining sharing on her climb to Mount Kinabalu. Geok Ean hit the center stage with a spectacular entrance, asking us “Are you ready?!” She shared her recent experience on preparing one of her company’s events, and she got a fever right after that. Somehow, the fever is not any physical sickness, but rather her passion and motivation on her work. Both Nancy and Geok Ean had shared with us very important values that they learned from their experiences. Well done girls!

Nancy shared her experience and lessons learned as she climbed Mount Kinabalu
Geok Ean had an 'unconventional' fever

Timothy delivered a mini-workshop on how to select a topic for a speech presentation. Indeed, it is a great practice session for Timothy to deliver his live workshop for the benefits of many Toastmasters to become better speakers in the future. 

Oh Lien Chai came in and entertained us about his experiences with sandwiches and women. His message is clear to all of us. Never steal a bite of a piece of sandwich hand-made by Lien Chai!
Lien Chai with his speech "Sandwiches vs Women"
Our VPM Sylvia with Timothy and his collection of trophies from Humorous Speech and Evaluation Contest

We are honored to have Jefferey Tang, to be our General Evaluator, who hailed all the way from UniRazak Toastmasters Club.

Timothy creatively delivered his Table Topic Evaluation, where each Table Topic Speaker is characterized with the delicious tastes of different ice-cream flavors; Premium Vanilla for Past President Ben Fong, Neapolitan for Amir, Sinful Chocolate for guest Rohaizad and myself, a Smooth Sweet Corn.  Do you want to know how he did that? Please come to join us more in Friendship’s future meetings!

Following was my turn to give evaluation to Nancy. I have to admit that it was a tough assignment for me as I like her presentation and I had given my best to evaluate her according to the guidelines stated in the manual. 

We always love to have Victor Ong in our meetings. This evening, we were lucky to have Mr. Victor evaluating Lian Chai’s speech. I believe he had provided a lot of valuable insights to Lien Chai to improve further as a poised speaker.

Victor Ong with his evaluation on Lien Chai's speech
Our immediate Past President, Angeline Lee stepped up and gave her analytical feedback on Geok Ean’s speech. We could not be more agreeing with Angeline as she thanked Geok Ean for such an amazing delivery  and important message for us to take home.

The ever-amazing Grace Tan evaluated Timothy’s speech, is like a treat from heaven. She gave an insightful and in-depth evaluation and shared her tips on how to maintain the momentum of the speech which takes 15 minutes long or more.

Best Table Topics Speakers - Ian Tai and Past President Ben Fong

Lien Chai took the Best Project Speakers award

Best Evaluator of the evening goes to Grace Tan

The meeting ended happily with high attendance and hopes for a much awaited Bee Farm trip in Melaka on October 13, 2012. To continue the celebration for Timothy’s victory, we went to Soul Out and had a splendid time.  

Our guest, Hamidah share her comment about the meeting

All in all, we had a blast and can’t wait for our upcoming meeting on the 16th October as Geok Ean will be taking the lead as Toastmasters of the Evening!

Stay Tune and See you there!

Our Token of Appreciation to General Evaluator, Jefferey Tang

Ian Tai
Vice President of Public Relations

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

September 29, 2012: Timothy is our Division W Humorous Speech and Evaluation Contest!

Winners of Division W Humorous Speech and Evaluation Contest 2012
Distinguished  Members & Guests, 

It is my honour and privilege to share my joy with you that Timothy Nakayama has won BOTH awards in Division W’s Humorous Speech and Evaluation Contest held in University Malaya on September 29, 2012. As a result, Timothy will proceed to the District 51 Contest which will be held on 17th November, 2012 in Holiday Villa Hotel & Suites, Subang, Malaysia.

Contest Day Highlights:

It was a day with high hopes and expectations for Timothy and FTMC. After spending a night relaxing and meditation in Midvalley’s Cititel Hotel, Timothy and I drove to University Malaya to get ready for the showdown. 

The faithful and die-hard fans of Timothy and Friendship Club; President Alexandra Lau, Grace Tan, Nancy Soo, our long-time-no-see Susan Lim and your truly were present to encourage and give support to Timothy. 

It was a tough battle in the humorous speech contest; all contestants were highly entertaining and caused the audience bursting into laughter. Fortunately for our club, Timothy’s speech was not only humorous but also contains a valuable message for everyone who is present, thus, bagging us our first gold of the competition.

The evaluation contest resumed shortly after a break and started off with an inspiring speech given by the test speaker. The evaluation contest was tight with no clear cut winners as the contestants were well-trained and polished in delivering their evaluation to the test speaker. 

Timothy was the fourth evaluator out of five contestants, and he struck gold when he demonstrated how being outrage can help to increase the emotional intensity and impact to the audience. Perhaps,  it was outrages that differentiates Timothy from the contestants, thus, earning us our second gold in the evaluation contest.   

The Division W contests results as following:

Humorous Speech Contest
  • Champion: Timothy Nakayama
  • 1st Runner Up: Sivaneswaran T.
  • 2nd Runner Up: Deepak P. Singh

Evaluation contest
  • Champion: Timothy Nakayama
  • 1st Runner Up: Vincent Hor
  • 2nd Runner Up: Kenneth Yee
Well Done, Tim!

Ian Tai
Vice President of Public Relations, FTMC

September 18, 2012: Feel The Fear, Do It Anyway!

Ian Tai
Personally, I love this meeting theme as this is what Toastmasters Organization is all about. People from all walks of life step out from their comfort zone in order to learn how to rise and shine as an powerful public speaker. 
 Members and guests of Friendship's 18 September meeting
The meeting started slightly later than the scheduled 7pm and was diligently hosted by our Division W Governor, Tan Lay Theng. Table Topics was conducted by VPE, Daphne Au and we had six outstanding speakers in their own way. 

 Division W Governor, Lay Theng as our Toastmasters of the Evening
Ben Chan had made major improvements from his last attempt in Table Topics, while Fen Ng has a lovely voice and stage presence. Yong and Kelly Fun were steady and natural on stage while Justin was entertaining with his personal story. He reminded us to tighten our belts and obey to instructions given by the cabin crew during flights.

Yong and Kelly Fun from WIM Toastmasters Club delivering Table Topics speeches
 The most notable speaker was Andrew. After seating at the back of nearly six or seven meetings, he finally introduced himself to us with his virgin Table Topics attempt. It’s a huge breakthrough, and I believe he deserves a thunderous applause for his effort today. Way to go, Andrew!

Andrew gave his Table Topic Speech for the first time
We had three amazing speakers, Oh Lien Chai, Penny Choo and Timothy Nakayama. Loaded with smiles and opened about the good and bad side in him for his Ice Breaking Speech; Lien Chai successfully build good rapport with the audience. We do not find any bad side of him as he is honest, friendly and articulate.

"Do you want to hear to good, or the bad side of me?" asked Lien Chai during his speech
Penny Choo from MidValley Toastmasters Club was attempting her Speech number 6, about the Five Letter Words, which is S.O.R.R.Y. she gave a dramatic and engaging speech about how we should put our ego down and saying sorry, is after all not that hard to do.  
"The Five Letters Word" by Penny Choo
Timothy was attempting his Advanced Manual in Storytelling, where he shared a story about once a beautiful city. With the skills and techniques he already acquired, he managed to describe the details and the city painted beautifully in our minds. We got so engrossed into his mythical yet irony story, as if we were watching a fairy tale movie.

All three speakers have done fantastically well with adequate preparations, good stage presence and excellent performances. Well Done, guys!

Sure enough, the feedback and evaluation session is when speakers are given “veracious” comments and “constructive” criticism from a panel of evaluators. I started off with my evaluation for all Table Topic Speakers, which was followed by three outstanding evaluators, Timothy, Zaiton and Alexandra Lau.

After the technical evaluation, it’s time to decide who “the speaker of the night” is. Fen Ng was voted as the favorite Table Topic Speaker, and we gave her a certificate which will serve as a nice souvenir from us. Timothy Nakayama was voted as the winner for both speech and evaluation “contest” of today’s meeting. It’s a great morale boost for his upcoming division contest in University Malaya on Saturday, 29th November 2012. Be sure to be there to support him!

Fen receiving the Best Table Topics Award
Timothy receiving the Best Evaluator and Project Speaker Awards
General Evaluator, Teoh Chun Ming receiving our token of appreciation

Ian Tai
Vice President Public Relations